An Blascaod Mór (The Great Blasket), is the largest of The Blasket Islands off the coast of Co. Kerry Ireland.
On the very edge of a continent, it was Europe’s most western community until 1953 when it was evacuated due to the pressures of securing the safety of such a remote location.
During its most thriving era, it had a population of several hundred. Now uninhabited, it is a protected monument. The island was home to many prolific writers who recorded their history and stories in the Irish language, leaving behind a literary and spiritual legacy of written works. the most famous of which is Peig Sayers, who made her home there.
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George’s Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.
For the ancient Greeks the tree of witchcraft and death, for the Celts the tree of immortality and transcendence of time, for Nordic people the world tree Yggdrasil: – immense, evergreen, connecting their 9 worlds of existence. God Odin hung himself from a Yew tree for 9 nights in search of wisdom. During this time he traveled through the 9 worlds to learn the secrets of life and death… Interestingly, the Yew emits a vapour which can potentially cause hallucinations if inhaled for a long time. Needles, seeds, bark and wood are highly poisonous, the red flesh of its fruits is the only non-toxic part of the tree, it is edible, nutritious and sweet.
Yggdrasil is an immense mythical tree that plays a central role in Norse cosmology, where it connects the Nine Worlds. Yggdrasil is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson.
Do you love plants and all things to do with gardens? In our #GreatGardens series, we revisit our top eight episodes which feature the planet’s wildest sub-tropical landscapes and quintessential rural retreats.
Savage Beauty light installation in Connemara Ireland (Lough Nafooey) March 2020. Savage Beauty by Kari Kola commissioned by Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture.
Music: Lawrence Hodge
Flung out into the Atlantic and shaped by the sheer force of the sea, Connemara’s islands are spectacular remnants of life long lost in other parts of Ireland. Staunchly proud of their traditions and as famous for their culture as their dramatic landscapes, Inishbofin and the Aran Islands are a patchwork of tiny, tightly packed fields, rambling stone walls, pristine beaches and craggy shores.
The islands’ relative isolation has fostered a profound sense of peace and protected a rich traditional heritage. They’re wonderful places to walk or cycle, and famous for their live music and traditional dances.
Situated in the choppy waters of Galway Bay, the three Aran Islands in the Gaeltacht region. The largest and most developed island is Inis Mór, a place blanketed in fissured limestone and snaking stone walls. The island’s most famous sight is Dún Aonghasa, a breathtaking semi-circular stone fort perched dramatically on top of a 100m cliff. Other prehistoric forts dot the island, as well as numerous early Christian remains. The heritage centre, Ionad Árann, gives a great insight into the island’s history and traditions but you’ll also see them first hand in the nightly music sessions, regular dances and impromptu storytelling.
Monocle’s Charlie Jermyn talks us through the rich and varied culinary delights on offer in Ireland’s second city.
Cork is the second largest city in Ireland. Located in the south-west of Ireland, in the province of Munster, since an extension to the city’s boundary in 2019, its population is c.210,000.
The city centre is an island positioned between two channels of the River Lee which meet downstream at the eastern end of the city centre, where the quays and docks along the river lead outwards towards Lough Mahon and Cork Harbour, one of the largest natural harbours in the world.
Originally a monastic settlement, Cork was expanded by Viking invaders around 915. Its charter was granted by Prince John in 1185. Cork city was once fully walled, and the remnants of the old medieval town centre can be found around South and North Main streets. The third largest city by population on the island of Ireland, the city’s cognomen of “the rebel city” originates in its support for the Yorkist cause in the Wars of the Roses. Corkonians sometimes refer to the city as “the real capital”, a reference to its opposition to the Anglo-Irish Treaty in the Irish Civil War.
Galway’s top chef, JP McMahon, on what the world doesn’t understand about Ireland’s food culture.
Jp McMahon is a chef, restaurateur, and author. He is culinary director of the EatGalway Restaurant Group and runs the Aniar Boutique Cookery School. Founding chair and director of the Galway Food Festival, Jp is an ambassador for Irish food. He organises an annual international chef symposium entitled ‘Food on the Edge’ in Galway and writes a weekly column for the Irish Times.
Louise McGuane launched Irish-whiskey label JJ Corry in 2015 after spending more than 20 years working in marketing for premium drinks brands. She has revived the practice of whiskey bonding, a popular practice in Ireland before the industry was decimated in the 1930s. McGuane sources, matures and bottles her own blends and single malts from her family farm in County Clare.